We haven't established a daily walking routine yet this year. We thought we should get outside today, though. So we decided to head over to one of our favorite "market" streets about a mile away. We arrived at about a quarter to one so Friday prayer services were just ending.
Now I imagine most Americans picture the typical Egyptian family dressing up, getting in the car and heading to the Mosque. This is not quite how it works. Dad and the older boys head to the nearby Mosque, generally on foot. Mom and the daughters and very young boys stay at home and cook a delicious dinner. Friday noon in an apartment building brings a delightful mix of aromas as the ladies prepare that special meal.
Dad and the boys are not going far. There is usually a mosque on every block. In the high-density areas where we were headed today, not everyone can get inside. Not to worry, though. There are loud speakers where the Imam's message is broadcast to all nearby people. A large number of men might block the entire street as they listen and pray. There is almost no traffic moving at this time anyway. You might describe the converging sounds from several nearby Imams on loudspeakers as a cacophony. No matter what the subject, it is almost always delivered with a high level of emotion and intensity.
As the prayer sessions break up, the men disperse and return home. Quite a few were picking up a few extras for dinner from what we could see as we finally were able to move down this street.
This is a view down one of the side streets emerging onto the shopping street.
I'm sure that this is the kind of high-density housing that brings smiles to the faces of urban planners. Interestingly, if you find the right street and crop the photo carefully, it almost looks vacant as you glance west to the Great Pyramid.
But let's get back to the market street. We had taken a few pictures last year and had copies to share in case we met certain shop owners. We were looking for one in particular and asked at several shops. We didn't find any repeats from last year but did make some new friends.
One place we stopped was a fresh meat store, one of several along this street. These ducks and chickens were likely on someone's dinner table tonight. Bunnies are also available. The shop owner was anxious to have his own picture taken today.
We stopped at a vegetable stand to inspect the kolkas. Kolkas, also known as Colocasia is a root vegetable not seen much outside of Egypt. It is sometimes known as Taro in English. It tastes very similar to potato in a soup also known as Kolkas.
Naturally after some discussion, the shop staff wanted their picture taken.
There was a nearby bakery and I picked out a few items to take home. This required another picture.
We eventually made it to the Grand Pyramids Hotel where we stopped for some freshly pressed strawberry and mango juice.